The Washington Post

White House logs: Which Cabinet secretary visits least?

Correction: Earlier versions of this article, including in Wednesday’s print edition of The Washington Post, misidentified the cabinet position held by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

If access is power, which Cabinet secretary’s got it — and, perhaps more interestingly, which doesn’t?

According to the Post’s database of the White House visitor logs, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has seen the inside of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. the least. One reason for that is that he’s relatively new to the Cabinet — he’s been on the job for less than a year.

And we should note that the database covering guests to the White House complex doesn’t show us every visit (these bigwigs most often get waved in, or their visits might be logged under a variant of their names).

Moving up the list, Energy Secretary Steven Chu shows up on the logs a mere 14 times — and Chu’s been with Obama from the beginning of his administration. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has dropped by no more than 18 times during Obama’s tenure, the logs show, and Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood each clock in at 21 drop-bys.

Attorney General Eric Holder is the most frequent Cabinet-level guest, according to the database, logging 42 visits. He’s followed by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at 40 and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 33.

Make an interesting finding of your own while searching through the visitor logs? Let us know on Twitter with the hashtag #whitehouseguests.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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